Target: Governor Jack Markell, Chair of the National Governors Association
Goal: Applaud efforts by our nation’s governors to employ disabled Americans
At the recent National Governors Association meeting, governors from across the United States focused on how to better integrate people with disabilities into the world of employment. After examining the issue over the past year, the National Governors Association (NGA) has come up with a detailed blueprint that contains dozens of policy recommendations to accomplish the goal of incorporating disabled people so that they will have a better quality of life, as well as increased business benefits.
Among the recommendations, one is for states to promote hiring the disabled in the private-sector. Walgreens is one of the companies that already actively hires disabled people; they say doing so boosts productivity and improves employee retention, as well as being right thing to do. The recommendations also include modifications of state employment hiring processes and workplaces to better accommodate disabled people.
The chair of the NGA, Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, says proposed initiatives are “the change in mind-set away from an expectation of charity to the expectation that you, the state, want to be my business partner in helping me solve a business problem, and that is in helping me find people with the appropriate level of skills.” Please applaud these governors’ efforts to employ people with disabilities.
Dear Chair of the National Governors Association Governor Jack Markell,
I commend the National Governors Association’s initiatives to promote the integration of people with disabilities into both the broader workforce of both the public and private sectors. With the potential of affecting the 54 million people with disabilities in this country, these policy recommendations have the good purpose of encouraging disabled people to live independent lives, along with the improvements to the bottom lines of businesses.
To execute recommendations of repositioning state investments and policies that work to integrate disabled people into the larger workforce, states can look to South Dakota, Virginia, and Utah, which have already started housing disability services at job centers. Michigan has created marketing materials that answer anticipated questions businesses may have about the initiatives and assist in pitching possible partnerships with employers. Maryland trains people with disabilities for specialized jobs within the private-sector, which includes employment in warehouses, drugstores, bakeries, hotels, medical billing, landscaping firms, banking, food service, and animal care.
Hopefully states follow your guidance and implement at least one policy recommendation out of the dozens that have been borne out of the NGA meeting and studies. I would like to thank you and the NGA for being proactive about expanding the rights of Americans with disabilities, and urge you to continue your advocacy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: jzo via Wikimedia Commons